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To: Jorj X Mckie who wrote (8847)5/5/2012 8:50:59 AM
From: SocratesJohnson
   of 11962
He's a libertarian and he is playing devil's advocate to make sure that we understand why we believe what we believe.
I'm the one here with the valid reasoning.

There isn't any evidence for natural rights and that is a good reason to doubt their existence......I'm the one providing the vastly superior reasoning.

Your assertion that we have a right to do anything isn't evidence.......Are you now aware of that?

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To: Jorj X Mckie who wrote (8847)5/5/2012 9:06:13 AM
From: SocratesJohnson
   of 11962
It rekindled my admiration for the big brains that understood that there is another way to look at governments rather than those that ruled by divine right.
There is as much evidence for divine rights as there is for natural rights.....More if you consider what the Bible has to say about the matter to be evidence.

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To: FUBHO who wrote (8846)5/5/2012 9:09:37 AM
From: SocratesJohnson
   of 11962
Trying to get us comfortable with the notion of being a slave to the State?
Are you trying to show how stupid and nasty you are?

There is every reason to assume that government is necessary for the existence of civilization. On that basis I'm in favor of government.

No government is all good of course. As soon as one assumes that civilization is better than barbarity one must quickly conclude that civilization, by definition, involves compromising for the greater good.

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To: Jorj X Mckie who wrote (8847)5/5/2012 5:46:37 PM
From: SocratesJohnson
   of 11962
Rights are entitlements (not) to perform certain actions, or (not) to be in certain states; or entitlements that others (not) perform certain actions or (not) be in certain states.
In order to have an entitlement others must honor the entitlement or, as I said earlier, one's rights involve the duty of others to respect them.

As I explained earlier having the freedom to do something and having a right to do something aren't quite the same.

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From: miraje5/5/2012 5:52:36 PM
1 Recommendation   of 11962
Gary Johnson Just Gave the Best Speech of His Presidential Campaign
from Hit and Run by Mike Riggs
Las Vegas - Moments before delegates began casting their ballots to determine the Libertarian Party presidential nominee, Gary Johnson told the crowd at the Red Rocks Resort in Las Vegas that he’d rather be tortured to death than vote for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama.

It was one of several lines that brought the crowd to its feet at this year’s Libertarian Party Convention. Based on what I’ve seen from Johnson in the last year, it was the best speech he’s ever given: Punchy, firm, loud, politically on point, and littered with applause lines.

It was also improvised.

“You must not know much about Gary,” his spokesman told me when I asked for a transcript of the speech, which brought the packed Red Rocks ballroom to its feet half a dozen times. “That was all Gary. All he had up there were a few notes.”

Content-wise, Johnson’s speech was nothing new. He’s talked about winding down the war in Afghanistan, ending the war on drugs, fiscal responsibility, tax reform, GLBT rights, and gun rights at speeches across the country for months. But today’s delivery showed Johnson has finally learned how to package those ideas into sound bites.

Some of the punchiest lines:

“Imagine a libertarian president challenging Congress to bring about marriage equality.”

“Imagine a libertarian president ending impediments to free markets.”

“Imagine a libertarian president challenging Congress to repeal the PATRIOT Act.”

“Imagine a libertarian president challenging Congress for meaningful immigration reform.”

“The libertarian candidate for president is the only candidate talking about gun rights and gay rights in the same sentence.”

“The libertarian candidate for president is the only candidate that’s going to be talking about slashing welfare spending and warfare spending in the same sentence.”

“Make no bones about it: The goal here is to win the election.”

"Somewhere between 2000 and 2008, Bob Barr fell out of bed, hit his head, and became a libertarian. I'm glad it happened."

"This is not 2008. I don't have any of that baggage hanging in back of me."

And the best line of the speech:

"I was on NPR's All Things Considered yesterday. The question was, 'You're on the torture rack, they're going to kill you, who are you going to vote for? Mitt Romney, or Barack Obama? I said, 'Look, I've climbed Mount Everest. I know how to do what it takes. Take this to the bank: I would rather die.'"

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To: miraje who wrote (8857)5/5/2012 6:09:45 PM
From: Jim S
   of 11962
He was our two-term governor here in NM. I can say that this country could sure do a LOT worse than having Gary Johnson as prez. He's a bit of a weirdo in some ways, but he sure has his head on straight.

All of which will probably cause him to be dismissed out of hand by the MSM.

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From: FUBHO5/6/2012 3:15:21 PM
1 Recommendation   of 11962
Weekend Market Summary


Austerity they say does not work, citing Europe as the example. But is austerity the issue?

Jared Bernstein, a democratic economic strategist, was on CNBC Friday morning, and to his credit Mr. Bernstein lamented the lower unemployment rate as not a good indication and that there was very little positive in the jobs report.

But, it had to happen, he had to revert to his roots. He went on to say that what the European woes and the weak US jobs report show is that austerity does not work and thus the last thing the US should do is cut spending. So much for rational thought on the subject.

I have discussed this before, but given it is really picking up in the public discourse it is worth discussing again: comparing the US to Europe in terms of austerity is a non sequitur. Europe has no free enterprise, capitalist background. Decades of socialism and government control and regulation has snuffed out or severely retarded the entrepreneurial spark. It is not that people don't want to have their own businesses, it is just practically impossible to create one given the crushing regulation and red tape. Thus it has been replaced by government as the primary spender and employer, and that is why when they talk austerity in the EU there are riots because the largest employer by numbers is the government. Without it there is little hope for any other opportunity.

The US is wholly different. Government growth the past three years is staggering, and on top of 50 years of explosive federal growth things are not well here either. But, we still have that entrepreneurial spirit and history; if we remove the roadblocks, regulations, restrictions, etc., our economy would indeed surge again.

What Mr. Bernstein and others miss is that the huge federal and Fed spending during this crisis has not helped the economy, but HAS PREVENTED it from recovering as energetically and robustly as it normally would. Thus MORE spending is NOT the answer. Indeed federal spending growth rates have far outstripped the rate of climb in healthcare, college, and other costs cited daily as the culprits behind our deficit. No, we just spend too much on too many things the federal government has no business spending on. Cutting federal spending and letting citizens keep more of their earnings would, as it did in the 1960's and as it did in the 1980's, trigger a new wave of entrepreneurism: US citizens are ready, able, and willing to do it on their own yet again.

We need the government to get out of the way, remove the obstacles, let us keep our money, and then as Harvey Korman said in 'Blazing Saddles,' do that voodoo that you do so well!

But . . . there is even a bigger issue.

What I kept waiting for the Republican commentator to say was that austerity was not the clear case study in recent economic history. No, what we have a front row seat to is what should be the lead chapter in any Economics 101 textbook: How Keynesian Economics Failed in the Real World Yet Again.

Why are EU governments forced into austerity and why are US states and municipalities (because unlike the federal government they cannot print money) waging massive battles regarding pensions and benefits that can never ever be paid? Because they, unlike Odysseus, ate the Lotus flowers.

They were beguiled to believe that government could provide all necessary goods and services and all the people had to do was go to work and pay their taxes. They would be cared for. As Margaret Thatcher's famous line states, however, 'the problem with socialism is you eventually run out of other people's money.'

I miss the 'iron lady.' She had it right. We have seen that too much government and too much government spending and intervention create catastrophic events. Here in the US we pushed home ownership, Bush, Schumer, Frank, etc. even when it was clearly unaffordable. Then when things started to crumble we spent hundreds of billions, indeed trillions, and all we get is a 2% economy with 115K jobs supposedly created?

No the track record is clear: taxing and spending by the government in places it thinks is best is no substitute for letting the entrepreneurs keep their money and put capital where it wants to flow. Whenever in history we go back to those ideals the US is clearly the strongest country on earth. Kennedy in the 1960's (before Johnson ruined things with the Great Society) and Reagan in the 1980's are recent examples of how well we do when we unleash the US citizen.

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From: TimF5/7/2012 10:17:08 AM
1 Recommendation   of 11962
...I will note that much if not most corporate welfare or rent-seeking by the wealthy are sold to the public as helping the poor. It's not called "green corporate welfare": it's called "green jobs". It's not called "massive redistribution from the poorest workers to the wealthiest age cohort": it's called "Social Security and Medicare"...

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To: SocratesJohnson who wrote (8851)5/7/2012 10:24:18 AM
From: TimF
1 Recommendation   of 11962
If one points out that there isn't any evidence one has made the case.


Its even false for assertions of physical reality (and much more so for philosophical concepts).

For example - No one can provide any actual evidence of civilizations, (or even the existence of life) in the Andromeda galaxy. But its extremely likely that there are civilizations in such a big galaxy with so many stars (and presumably so many planets although again we have no direct evidence).

More generally absence of evidence is only evidence of absence in cases where there is a good reason to believe that presence would cause evidence. If I claim Godzilla is currently ravaging Tokyo, you would reasonably call nonsense, if it was happening it would be all over the news programs and the internet. In such a case absence of evidence is evidence of absence. But not for claims about civilizations in the Andromeda galaxy, or about philosophical ideas.

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To: SocratesJohnson who wrote (8852)5/7/2012 10:32:02 AM
From: TimF
1 Recommendation   of 11962
There is no valid reasoning that points to the existence of natural rights.
Nonsense. You ignore a huge chunk of the history of philosophical thought and debate. Yes none of that is evidence, but your not talking about evidence now, your talking about reason.
"There isn't any evidence for the existence of natural rights therefore it's silly to assume that they exist.") The conclusion doesn't logically follow from the premise. " Of course the conclusion follows from the premise.
More nonsense. As I demonstrated in my last post, even for assertion of physical fact, lack of evidence does not always provide an argument for absence, much less conclusive support for the idea of absence. For philosophical ideas there is even less reason to always expect evidence.

History shows that the market has never been free. There isn't any reason to think that free markets will ever exist as they never have.
Its never been totally free, but various markets have been highly free, and the more free they are, all else being equal (or of course all else being better), the more efficiently they produce wealth.

There is very good reason to think that unfettered human greed will result in oppression.
The more free markets are the less likely greed is to result in oppression. The more government controls the market, the more those with political influence will oppress, and the more those with wealth will seek to gain political influence. Also very heavy control of markets by government is itself at least a limited degree of oppression (and in many cases not so limited).

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